Thundering Herd rallies late to knock off Tulane, 27-26

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 31, 2005

MU Sports Information

MOBILE, Ala. - Four years ago, Ladd-Peebles Stadium was the site of arguably the greatest comeback in Marshall football history. Saturday night, the Thundering Herd pulled off another thriller, coming back from a 20-7 halftime deficit to take a 27-26 win over the Tulane Green Wave.

The victory snapped a five-game regular season road losing streak dating back to last season for the Thundering Herd (4-4, 3-2 C-USA). Tulane (2-5, 1-4 C-USA), playing in its seventh different stadium this season, lost its fourth consecutive game.

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Sophomore quarterback Bernie Morris (Orlando, Fla./Jones) finished with 73 yards of total offense in the game's final 18 minutes. Marcus Fitzgerald led all receivers with 60 yards on six receptions. Hiram Moore added 49 yards on five catches.

Ahmad Bradshaw finished with 91 yards on the ground on 24 carries and a touchdown.

It was a streak that began at the 8:51 mark of the first quarter of Marshall's game against Kansas State on Sept. 10. At the 10:55 mark of the first quarter against the Green Wave, the Thundering Herd drove 35 yards on six plays in 2:55 to snap its 85:54 first quarter scoreless streak.

Marshall starting quarterback Jimmy Skinner connected with senior tight end Jeff Mullins for a 16-yard touchdown strike over the middle, giving the Herd an early 7-0 lead.

The touchdown pass from Skinner was the Herd's first first-quarter touchdown in Conference USA play. It also marked Skinner's first touchdown pass since the Herd's 23-13 loss at UCF on Sept. 24.

However, Tulane wouldn't trail for long as the Green Wave scored 20 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 20-7 lead over the Herd.

On the first play of the second quarter, Skinner's pass was intercepted by Tulane's Bruce Youmans and returned 51 yards for a touchdown, evening the score at 7-7.

The interception return for a touchdown was the first by a Marshall opponent since Nov. 13, 2004, when Bowling Green's Keon Newson returned an interception 42 yards for a score.

Five minutes later, Tulane would increase its lead to 13-7. Lester Ricard connected with Preston Brown on a 34-yard touchdown pass at the 9:08 mark of the second mark. Chris Hawkins blocked Jacob Hartgroves point after attempt.

Israel Route's 48-yard punt return setup a six-play, 23-yard scoring drive that lasted 2:41, giving the Wave a 20-7 lead. Jovon Jackson scored on a two-yard touchdown run with 4:52 remaining in the first half to take the 13-point advantage.

Tulane's 20 points in the second quarter are the most the Herd has surrendered to an opponent this season.